What is the definition of an intelligent product? Is it something that makes you smarter or makes you work smarter? The answer to both questions is yes. The product could be a new computer program, equipment add-on, or tool to make an installation go easier.

The NEWS has compiled a list of products that combine new technologies in a variety of different areas, included in this article, which HVAC contractors and employees can use everyday to make their jobs easier and more productive.

AirMotion Sciences
AirMotion Sciences’ Big Smart Fans™ are described as the “next generation of HVLS fans.” By taking advantage of the laws of physics, their patented design allows large facilities to move and mix massive amounts of air effectively and efficiently. The fans provide evaporative cooling relief in summer, heat destratification warmth and energy savings in colder seasons, and supplement other HVAC equipment to provide better air circulation and ventilation, all while reducing energy usage and related costs significantly. Their patented design features Variable Pitch Technology (VPT™), allowing users to vary fan blade pitch from 0 to 20 degrees or more, up and down; Rotatair™ composite blades shaped for lower turbulence and higher air movement efficiency; and MultiMode Smart controls. These controls provide four modes of operation. AirMotion Big Smart fans provide significant comfort and other benefits while reducing a facility’s carbon footprint. Applications range from distribution centers, manufacturing operations, air hangars, maintenance facilities, and a variety of commercial, agricultural, and other industrial facilities where large spaces can benefit by their one fan covering up to 20,000 square feet and more efficiency with rapid paybacks and high ROI.

Air & Water Technology Inc.
Air & Water Technology Inc. manufactures a product designed to prevent and maintain residential and commercial air conditioning drain line pathways from blockages of sludge and slime, ultimately preventing health issues and insurance claims. The Wizard-Kleen water flushing and/or Wizard-Kleen water nitrogen system offers an easy and safe solution to a major air conditoning problem using both intelligent plus economical non-chemical method. The two device models utilizes a hydro cleaning and/or gas to remove sludge and slime when cleaning and safeguarding the air conditioning drain line systems from backups. The product models are environmentally friendly and helps improve the quality of life for homes and businesses.

Airxchange Inc.
Airxchange Inc. manufactures energy recovery wheels which make it possible to reuse most of the heating and cooling energy in a building that would be otherwise lost in the exhaust process. Up to 80 percent of this energy is recycled to precondition outdoor air, resulting in reduced HVAC load and operating cost. For new and replacement projects, energy recovery costs are typically offset by lower HVAC system first costs while up to 80 percent reductions in outdoor air fuel consumption provide healthy returns for the life of the HVAC system. Energy recovery wheels may also be used to improve the efficiency of relatively new HVAC systems by up to 40 percent providing one to three year paybacks when supported by the local utility.

AKH Inc.
AKH Inc. manufactures its painted AKH FAS-NER®, allowing appliance companies to insert directly into pre-painted metal. The FAS-NER® color is matched to the color of a painted assembly allowing for the elimination of post paint operations. The AKH FAS-NER System eliminates the need for spot welding and riveting with a self-piercing FAS-NER. It is a simple punch and die operation, which automatically feeds, punches, inserts, and locks the self-piercing, FAS-NER to produce a solid joint in one, high-cycle operation. It also joins dissimilar metals and thicknesses. Systems range from a single hit machine to a completely automated turnkey system, including insertion into main production lines with the assistance of machine integrators.

American Ultraviolet Co.
American Ultraviolet Co.’s new ICR (Infection Control Rack) units are specifically designed as a multipurpose solution for air and surface disinfection in an HVAC environment. The number of lamps is dictated by the airflow, size of the vestibule, and target dose to the air. Its lamps create an intense UV energy field which delivers a lethal dose of UVC energy to the air rushing by. When mounted on the downstream side of the coil, the energy produced also sanitizes the coil at the same time. Each ICR module consists of multiple high output two-year green UVC cell lamps. The racks are wired in multiple circuits with every second, third, or fourth lamp wired on a separate circuit. The control center allows the operator to engage and disengage lamp circuits to accommodate airflow or airborne threat. For the standard day-to-day coil cleaning, the operator will typically run only one circuit. This level of energy is sufficient to maintain the coil, when an airborne threat is realized additional circuits can be brought on to provide blow by disinfection to the passing air.

Bennette Design Group Inc.
The Bennette Design Group Inc. manufactures the Knee N’ Back Pad, which is designed to protect knees during HVAC service work. It is ergonomically designed for trade professionals with two molded indentations for the knees, a built-in handle, and molded in 2-inch-thick “closed cell” foam that is resistant to oil and will not absorb water. The Knee N’ Back Pad is 18 by 13.5 inches and provides complete support for the knees and body. 

Digi-Cool, known as one of the world’s first digital refrigeration system analyzer companies, manufactures the AK-900, a new digital refrigeration system analyzer. The AK-900 offers a number of analysis capabilities, including a patented dynamic bar graph display — display technology that allows users to monitor pressure dynamics closely. The graphs are updated four times every second, showing subtle changes that can easily be missed by analog gauges. The tool also includes some intuitive troubleshooting features such as a no-toggle screen, showing SH + SC on a single screen. A cool new accuracy feature is the absolute zero function. This gives users the ability to zero the pressure readouts to absolute zero and thus read out accurately in high altitude locations. Other intuitive features include pressure recall modes (to help observe load changes over long periods) and 45 programmed refrigerants onboard. 

ecobee Inc.
The ecobee Smart Thermostat is an Internet enabled, wireless thermostat that allows users to manage home comfort from anywhere at anytime. Unique features automate energy conservation to help conserve energy, save money, and reduce an environmental impact. Its program button shows how the thermostat is currently programmed. The program Wizard function allows users to create a basic program for their thermostat. The Editor function helps the user create more advanced programming. Quick Save works just like a light switch. By touching the Quick Save button, thermostats will automatically set a system to conserve energy and save money, making it easy to run an energy efficient house. Other features include the Details button giving access to all heating and cooling settings. Registering the ecobee Smart Thermostat will allow users to access it from anywhere through a personalized Web Portal. Receive weather information and important reminders and alerts by email. Thermostat users are saving 26 percent a year on their energy costs which is on average about $500 per year. 

Emerson Climate Technologies
Emerson Climate Technologies has two new CoreSense™ Diagnostics modules that strengthen the Copeland Scroll brand by unlocking advanced capabilities in fixed speed and two-stage compressors. CoreSense technology advances Emerson’s smart compressor strategy for using the compressor as a sensor. Designed to help contractors troubleshoot residential air conditioning systems, CoreSense modules use the compressor as a sensor to deliver active protection and diagnostic capabilities, improving overall system reliability. CoreSense Diagnostics gives technicians insight into the system through the compressor, providing information to help diagnose problems quickly and accurately, reducing costly callbacks. With active protection, homeowners know their air conditioners and heat pumps will work without catastrophic failure and major repairs. Test results at an HVACR vocational school revealed that CoreSense Diagnostics for Copeland Scroll compressors helped improve troubleshooting accuracy of an entry-level technician from 17 to 92 percent. Experienced technicians improved to 100 percent accuracy when assisted by CoreSense Diagnostics.

Intesis Software
Intesis Software makes IntesisBox® Enocean, a line of air conditioning gateways that opens Enocean systems to fully control air conditioner units, being able to control both the indoor unit and overview its status as well as performing advanced room controller functionalities. Intesis’ EnOcean-based interfaces for true split-level integration of air conditioner units into the ecosystem and allowing energy saving. The IntesisBox performs room controller functionalities allowing further energy savings and automatic control of the air conditioner. It is available in Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. In the following months LG, Samsung, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Sanyo gateways are going to be released.

Leviton Lighting & Energy Solutions
Leviton Lighting & Energy Solutions manufactures its GreenMAX relay control panel. In addition to controlling lighting virtually any type of commercial application, it also has the capability to interface with other building systems including HVAC. GreenMAX controls incorporate native BacNet protocol to allow communication with HVAC or other building automation systems. This means that GreenMAX can not only schedule when lighting turns on or off in a building, but can also communicate with the HVAC system to set back or turn off when spaces are not occupied, creating additional savings. Coupling the savings from lighting control with HVAC systems can reduce the return on investment for the building only and increase overall energy savings. Since occupancy sensors communicate with the GreenMAX panel to indicate when spaces are occupied or vacant, this information can also be used for
HVAC control.

The LintAlert is a home safety device that monitors and displays the back pressure levels found in the exhaust conduit of a clothes dryer, enabling proper venting. Besides the danger of fire, lint build-up, birds’ nests and crushed hoses, prolonged drying times waste energy and contribute to additional lint build-up. This dryer safety alarm exhibits a back-lit logo lens that doubles as a night light for the laundry room. The pass-through plug feature provides an extra outlet and the Flash-Based 8-Bit CMOS microcontroller contains the code, all accessible through the button on the front panel. The final stage of alarm is a combination audible and visual alarm. The audible portion can be muted.

Titus recently introduced the EOS, a solar powered energy harvesting diffuser. It is designed to improve comfort and save energy while providing a solution to challenging building perimeter applications. The EOS diffuser is designed specifically to address the imperfect split compromises by providing the perfect perimeter solution; automatically changing the air discharge pattern to the correct horizontal or vertical position for heating and cooling applications. It is powered completely by natural light. The auto-changeover action is powered by an energy harvesting system that collects solar or ambient light energy from a small solar panel mounted to the face of the unit. It uses the harvested light energy to power a miniature motor/actuator assembly while a PC board with a temperature sensor uses smart logic to monitor the supply air and quickly change the air discharge pattern when that temperature falls outside of the narrow temperature band.

Publication date: 12/12/2011